BIONAT 2018 Congress, which allowed participants to recognize the innovation and trajectory constructed by Cuba and other countries of the Region to produce high quality research in the different fields of Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine (TCIM).
It was very important to recognize the relevance of inter-programmatic and inter-institutional work for an appropriate development of scientific research. Presentations on the articulation and implementation of Natural and Traditional Medicine in the health systems took place during the event, displaying case reports, revisions of drug interactions, reports on adverse reactions, cost-effectiveness reports and efficiency results for TCIM treatments. Most of the research presented was based on representative samples of patients, based on the availability of data from the Dirección de Medicina Natural y Tradicional (Natural and Traditional Medicine Direction) from the Cuban Ministry of Public Health. The Centro Médico de Especialistas Cubanos (CEMEC – Medical Center of Cuban Specialists), the PAHO Cuba focal point and universities with programs related to the topic participated together in the research presented.
Currently, the VHL TCIM Americas advances, within the its editorial policies, projects aimed at sharing research experiences on TCIM in the Region, as well as methodologies for developing pedagogical tools for strengthening research capacities on TCIM in each country. For the VHL TCIM, the Cuban research experience on Natural and Traditional Medicine, and more particularly in the fields of Phytotherapy, Medicinal Plants and Traditional Chinese Medicine, will serve as a reference for proceeding with the collaborative projects that the TCIM Americas Network wants to develop in each country of the Region.
Expanding the TCIM Americas Network in Cuba
During the Congress, the TCIM Americas Network and the coordination of the VHL TCIM held meetings with delegates from the Direction of Natural and Traditional Medicine of the Ministry of Public Health, the Sociedad Cubana de Medicina Bioenergética y Naturalista (Cuban Society of Bioenergetic and Naturalist Medicine), the Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de Medicamentos (Center of Investigation and Drug Development), the CIMED, and universities working with topics related to the TCIM. During the meetings, agreements were reached for expanding the TCIM Network in Cuba, and strategies were defined to continue the collaborative work with the VHL TCIM Americas. Moreover, INFOMED agreed to take action in order to index theses, dissertations and technical and scientific documents in the field of TCIM, produced by different Cuban institutions, through the CUMED database and the MOSAIC database, with the objective of increasing visibility for the country’s health information and scientific production at a regional level.
During the Congress, two symposiums were developed with the collaboration of PAHO: “Traditional Indigenous and Afro-descendant Medicine”, chaired by Dr. Daniel Gallego-Pérez (PAHO) and “Traditional and Complementary Medicine in Primary Health Care”, chaired by Dr. Cristian Morales Fuhrimann, PAHO/WHO Representative in Cuba. These symposiums were attended by delegates from different countries, who shared experiences on the articulation of the TCIM in the health systems.
Additionally, and within the framework of the Congress, delegates from the PAHO Health Systems and Services Unit were able to visit health centers and hospitals in Havana, Matanzas and Cienfuegos, where they were able to experience the functioning of the articulation model for Natural and Traditional Medicine in health services, in Primary Health Care and hospitalization assistance.
In fact, the participation of VHL TCIM and the TCIM Americas Network at the BIONAT 2018 Congress was favorable for consolidating collaboration networks with Cuba and other countries of the Region. In itself, it was a gratifying experience to witness how the articulation experiences of TCIM in the health models contribute to make health systems and services more inclusive and more responsive to the objectives of achieving universal health.
The BIONAT 2018 Congress took place in Havana, Cuba, on September 3-7.
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